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Opinion of my Philips HTS9800w

manmikey

Active Member
Hi forum
I was seduced by an article in a sunday magazine about this system, I had been searching for something like this since wall mounting my Samsung LCD, my Sony DAV-SR2 is a big flat box which "stuck out" once the TV was on the wall.

I couldn't find much in the way of reviews as it is so new so here are my opinions so far....

I Purchased form Broadbandstuff.co.uk for a total of £635.09. I ordered on a thursday afternoon and it arrived on the friday!
The HTS arrived in a very heavy box. Ripping out all the wiring from my old system took ages but the whole job was completed in an afternoon and evening.

There are 6 identical speakers, 4 good quality heavy stands which are not height adjustable and all six speakers are wall mountable without requiring additional brackets, just attatch small plastic spacers (included).

The Sub is a "cube" and is mains powered, it also contains the amps for the front three speakers, it is connected to the main junction box by a vga lead. There is a cooling fan in the unit and the speakers are connected to the rear by plugs.

The rears are wired into a metal box which is also mains powered, this contains their amps and the wireless RF reciever. There are 4 diferent RF channels to choose from.

The DVD contol unit is very light and can be free standing or wall mountable it has a mains connection and a hardwired lead to which you connect the remote junction box. The only other sockets on the unit are an HDMI socket and FM antenna socket. The DVD slot is on the right hand edge of the unit and is lit internally by blue light. The contols are illuminated blue and touch sensitive. The main display is also blue and can be dimmed.

The remote junction box can be hidden away and all other connections are made to this, it has component sockets, S-Video, Aux phonos, Co-ax Digital, and a hard wired flying scart lead to connect to the TV.

It all looks very modern and stylish and complements the style and colours of a modern black and silver LCD or plasma tv perfectly.
The speakers look fantastic they are very slim (4cm) and the front is black glass with cut outs for the speakers. They are very easy to mount on the wall. The front L/R and rear L/R are mounted vertically and the front and rear centres are horizontal can freestand.

I have had no trouble with RF connection to the wireless rears, on one channel I get a faint hiss but the other 3 are all silent and don't drop out, I have the reciever next to my PC which is emitting all kinds of stuff including bluetooth.

What does it sound like?
I am not a "seperates, component building" sort of bloke, I like my home entertainment to look good and sound great but not dominate the look of the room. If the look of the philips exceeded my expectations, the sounds has amazed me, my Sony HTIB (DAV-SR2) was good but the Philips is on another planet. The sounds is crystal clear and the sub really shakes the room without distortion, surround effects from the 5.1 & 6.1 decoders are well positioned and the whole room is filled with pleasing sound. The DVD HDMI upscaling works surprisingly well on my Samsumg Tv via the HDMI connection.

Audio CDs benefit from upsampling and sound stunning especially in straight forward stereo mode and the louder the volume he better it sounds, I don't have any super audio Cds so I can't comment on those.

There is built in FM RDS tuner but not Medium Wave. The sources available are Disc, Tuner, Aux (Phono analogue), TV (via scart) & Digital In (Coax digital).

Cons?
A couple of niggles,
The height of the speaker stand is not adjustable and they are quite tall, I would like to have lowered the overall heght by about 4 inches but it is just not possible.

I have twice had to cycle power on the system as once time it had trouble starting a DVD and another because it got stuch on mute. I hope this is not a sign of unreliability....

In Conclusion
If you want a lifestyle HTIB system that delivers on performance as well as design and looks then I would recommend this system especially if you are upgrading, like I did, from another HTIB.
I can't comment on how it compares to a component system as I have never had one.
 
C

caesar

Guest
Many thanks for this manmikey, very useful

My only concern with this unit is that it lacks an HDMI input e.g. if you want to hook in an HD-DVD player when these are available in Europe

Wondering if you can use link the HD-DVD to the HTS9800w's digital coax input for sound and send video to TV's HDMI input ??

Is that technically possible ? Any views ?
 

manmikey

Active Member
Caesar, I can't see why that would not work, I feed Audio from my SKY+ into the Digital Co-ax of the HTS9800 and feed the Sky+ Video into the S-Video of the TV & it works great.
 
S

smason5

Guest
Another thread on this forum reminded me that I have to consider how easy cables might be to replace due to a rabbit I have running around. The little devil has chewed through countless cables.

Are any of the cables on the HTS9800W hard wired in? In other words, are there any cables (particularly the rears) which I mioght not be able to replace?

I'm particularly concerned about the ability for me to rabbit proof the rear speakers. I know they'll be up on a wall but do any of the components that they plug into have to sit on the floor?

Stuart
 

manmikey

Active Member
Smason5
The front left/right and rear Left/right speaker wires are connected by plugs each end. The front and rear centre speakers have wires hard wired into the speaker its self while the other ends have plugs to connect to their connection points.
If you use the speaker stands the cables plug in underneath the base and wires travel inside the stand so there is nothing for your bunny to get at.

The 3 rears connect to a box (about the size of a small toaster) containing the Rf transmitter and amps, it has a mains lead connection to. It could be placed on a shelf or cabinet above floor lever but has no obvious way to wall mount it directly.
 
S

smason5

Guest
Thanks for the information.
I've been waiting to find a review of this system for ages so it's really useful to have your opinions.

Stuart
 

ApocalypseCow

Standard Member
that's a really great looking system and a great write up, thanks! Can you confirm if it's multiregion or at least hackable?
 

chrisgal

Active Member
I must say the Philips HTS9800W is a very nice piece of kit however I cannot give a full review as I am having some problems with the HDMI connection and don't want to comment until I have sorted this out.
I purchased from cheapelectricals.co.uk (£515 at the time). I
have set up the system but when I try and play a DVD through the HDMI connection. No picture appears or it flashes between a 'snowy' contrast and then a dark screen. When I take the HDMI cable out and replace it the following message appears on the screen for a couple of seconds and then the picture disappears. "Content cannot be displayed as the device connected is non-hdcp compatible."I have attached the HTS9800W to a Samsung LE32R73BD with an HDMI cable into their respective connections and do not understand why this will not work as I am nearly sure the TV I have is HDCP compliant. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

manmikey

Active Member
chrisgal; MY TV is a Samsumg LCD LE32R41BD and the HDMI connection works ok. & £515!!!! - bah

ApocalypseCow; I don't know if its multiregion, I only have region 2 discs!
The System can however have its firmware updated, Philips have a firmware upgrade on their website which you download & copy to a CD and then load in the system.
 

chrisgal

Active Member
Cheers manmikey. It may be a fault with the player and I'll have to chase Philips up. However I'm no AV technician so does anyone know if the fault could be due to the way I have my connections set up. i.e.HDMI cable from TV to DVD player, Sky Box to Scart 1, Junction Box Scart to TV Scart 2.???
 

gcwebbyuk

Active Member
Great reviews guys

Am looking into one of these systems myself.

Can someone give me the height of the actual system unit itself, so I can confirm that it will fit on my shelf.

Also the digital input - is it coax or optical?
 

manmikey

Active Member
gcwebbyuk,

The system unit is 29cm tall x 27cm wide x 9cm deep.

The digital input is co-ax. I bought a little converter from Maplin to enable me to connect the the optical output of my Sky+ box to the co-ax input of my HTS9800. It works a treat.
 

gcwebbyuk

Active Member
Damn, so it is too tall to fit on my tv rack. :thumbsdow

Need to find a place to house it as I dont wanna have to splash out on a longer HDMI cable etc (QED - £40ish :rolleyes:)
 

gcwebbyuk

Active Member
May have to revert back to thinking about the Sony HTFS1000 instead :( as I don't really need the DVD side of things, can keep my Philips DVP5900.
 

qualar

Active Member
Well Ive took a chance and ordered this, hopefully it will be region hackable. Cost me about £405 which i think is pretty decent.
 

noel4

Active Member
yeah i would like to now aswell cos i think im paying 590 for it but cant get it for about 4 weeks so plenty time to cancel.
 

qualar

Active Member
Sorry to say, i am in the RAF and currently working in Holland so im entitled to TAX free and discount shopping so thats why i get it for that price.
 
S

SinisterRocket

Guest
Hi,

Got a few qusetions about this system. First is i want to connect mys SKY HD box and my xbox360 to this via optical, is this possible or is there only one digial input. The second is how do you mange to wall mount something that will have so many cables coming out of it. Can sombody take some pictures of there setup and if possible picture of the back to show the connections.

Thanks Ray
 

manmikey

Active Member
Hi Ray

There is only one digital co-ax connection and no optical input.

Cable management is handled by most of the external cables being connected via a "hide away" junction box which is remote from the main system box on the wall, this means ther are only two leads 1) mains power and 2) lead to connect to the junction box to manage. However if you use HDMI then this lead is plugged in to the main system not the junction box and also if you connect an FM antena this is also connected directly. Picture 6a shows the junction box and 7a shows the rear of the main system taken from below showing the 4 cables mentioned above.
If the system was flush with the wall and the orientation of the connectors and leads does allow for this then the cables would have to be managed either throught the wall behind or out the bottom of the cut out section that is apparent on the photo.

SANY0001a.jpg

SANY0007a.jpg

SANY0002a.jpg

SANY0006a.jpg

I had to compress heavily to get the pictures uploaded, PM your e-mail address if you want the originals
Mike
 
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SinisterRocket

Guest
Thanks for that. sent you a pm with my address. I guess i could get tound it with a toslink switch but that starts to get messy.
 

sk8

Active Member
Hi mike

I've also sent you a pm for the pictures

thanks
 

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